Statement: IUPAT President Williams on DHS Immigration Enforcement Memo



Contact: Ryan Kekeris, 410-564-5884,

STATEMENT: IUPAT President Williams on DHS Immigration Enforcement Memo

HANOVER, MD – Following the memo related to worksite enforcement put out by DHS Secretary Mayorkas today, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) President Jim Williams Jr. released the following statement:

“Time and again we’ve seen workers across the country who are afraid to speak out because they know that retaliation by their employers is likely under our broken immigration system. For too long, employers have known they could cheat and threaten immigrant workers with little consequence. They had every incentive to use this broken system as a cudgel to thwart organizing efforts. It was no coincidence that workplace raids often coincided with organizing efforts.

Our union has been spearheading efforts to end immigration-related abuses in construction. We’ve seen employers using the threat of deportation and engaging in worker misclassification and wage theft across the country. Government agencies should work on behalf of those most vulnerable, not employers looking to threaten and coerce their workforces against organizing for better conditions.

Today’s announcement by Secretary Mayorkas that DHS is ending workplace raids and redirecting their efforts towards exploitative employers is a good first step. We commend every step taken towards the goal of ensuring that workers involved in labor organizing, regardless of status, have protections under the law. We look forward to effective implementation. 

We commend Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden for recognizing that and taking concrete steps towards making it a reality. We look forward to partnering with the Administration in holding employers accountable and stopping the abuses of immigrant workers in our industries.”



Represents a growing community of over 140,000 active and retired craftspeople in the United States and Canada. The IUPAT membership extends far beyond the workplace. Recognized as one of the most active unions in the labor movement, IUPAT members help shape their communities in many ways: through an abiding commitment to service, by fighting passionately for workers’ rights that benefit all working families, and through effective worker education and mobilization.

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